Resources for Teens & Tweens

Dear T(w)een,

Welcome to adolescence. I am sure that it has been both everything that you wanted it to be and unfortunately some of what you were worried it would be. It is likely that you have made great friends and lost some good ones too. It is probable that there has been more tension at home as you have expressed your growing need for space and freedom. And it is reasonable to assume that you have been riding the emotional roller coaster, causing you to feel great one minute and then unbearably low and alone the next.

Adolescence is a time when you feel like no one understands. It may feel like you are the only one who is self-conscious, or is struggling in school. You may be convinced that you are the only one who is overwhelmed by family pressure, peer pressure, or academic pressure. You might wonder if you are the only one in pain, hurting, or sad. Adolescence can feel lonely. But know:

You are not alone.

Adolescence. A time when all you want to do is fit in but most of the time you feel that you stand out. Maybe your hair is too straight or not straight enough. Maybe your clothes don’t have the right logo or you aren’t skilled at the right sports. Maybe you are too tall, too small, too funny, or not funny enough. Maybe you don’t get enough likes or have long enough streaks. Maybe you don’t excel in school or hang with the right people. This period of your life might lead you to feel inadequate. But know:

You are enough.

Adolescence is a time when you feel that you must solve everything on your own, if only to prove your growing independence. You may feel that hiding your feelings or coping alone is a sign of strength. You may think asking for help or getting advice is a sign of weakness. You may not know how or where to ask for help. But, carrying your worries, struggles, and feelings alone can be overwhelming. You should know:

There is help.

Adolescence is likely to bring some of your best days and some of your worst days. Thanks to hormones, you will be riding high when things are good and inevitably will feel very low when things are bad. In fact, adolescence is not unlike a roller coaster with no clear end in sight. This time of your life will bring the full spectrum of emotions. But remember:

This too shall pass.

And when it does, because it inevitably will, if you were able to hold on to your strengths, keep focused on your goals, and stay true to who you are, then you will not only survive, but you will really thrive. This time in your life will bring great change. Change characterized by independence, growth, and opportunity. And, if you let it, this period will bring great possibility.

Warmly,

Your therapist and fellow survivor

Getting Help on the Phone:

  • Montgomery County Text Line: (301) 738-2255
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255
  • Maryland Crisis Hotline: (800) 422-0009
  • Montgomery County Crisis Center: (240) 777-4000

Getting Help Online:

Getting Help in Person:

  • Montgomery County Crisis Center
    1301 Piccard Drive Rockville, MD 20850

What to Expect When You Call a Hotline:

1. Who Answers a Call at a Suicide Hotline? Hotlines are staffed by trained personnel.  Suicide hotlines that are for specific types of crises, such as the concerns of veterans or of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or queer (LGBTQ) individuals, are generally trained in the main issues facing those populations.

2. What Happens When You Call a Suicide Hotline? Depending on the suicide hotline, your call may be routed to a central location or, as in the case of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, your call may be answered by the center closest to you. When you call, you’ll typically hear a message confirming the number you have reached and then on-hold music until someone can answer your call. Once your call is answered, a caring and trained person will listen to you, learn about your situation, ask questions and will then generally tell you about mental health services in your area. Services in your area can range from a mobile response team to a suicide prevention center staffed with counselors where you can be accommodated overnight.

3. Will the Police Get Called If I’m Suicidal and Call a Suicide Hotline? This is a tricky question and the answer is neither “yes” nor “no.” In the vast majority of cases, no police (or other authority) involvement is required and in the cases where emergency help is needed, suicide hotline staff will make every attempt to gain permission to send them. The goal of a suicide hotline is to help you with your personal crisis and no one-size-fits-all solution is possible. That being said, if you are actively suicidal and threatening to imminently hurt yourself, it is possible that emergency personnel may be called without your permission. While no one likes that scenario, it truly is the best, lifesaving thing an operator can do in a small number of cases.

Websites:

Confidential Phone/Text Support:

  • CALL National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1.866.331.9474
  • TEXT: LOVEIS TO 22522

Online Quizzes

Websites:

Websites

  • youth.anxietybc.com: a comprehensive resource with videos, activities, and tips on how to manage anxiety
  • stopbreathethink.com: free web and mobile app for youth, with meditations for mindfulness and compassion
  • calm.com: free website and mobile app with guided meditation and relaxation exercises

Apps:

  • Insight Timer: Free mobile app with virtual “bells” to time and support your meditations
  • Smiling Mind: Free mobile mindfulness app for young people
  • Headspace: Mobile mindfulness app that provides guided meditations and mindfulness techniques that bring calm, wellness, and balance to your life.
  • MindShift: Free mobile app developed by AnxietyBC to help you learn how to relax, develop more helpful ways of thinking, and identify active steps that will help you take charge of your anxiety. Includes strategies to deal with everyday anxiety, as well as specific tools to tackle things like sleep, intense emotions, test anxiety, perfectionism, social anxiety, performance anxiety, worry, and panic.

Reach out to Family Therapy Center of Bethesda today with your questions, comments or concerns and we'll be sure to get back to you as quickly as possible!

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